I read this story on Autosport. It describes Fernando Alonso as apologising for his “manipulation” comments after the events of Valencia. In the quotes they provided, I did not spot an actual apology but it certainly was a very significant climb-down.
The English version of the Ferrari driver diary is here. I do find these blog entries on the Ferrari site to be amusing because it is so obvious the drivers do not write them. In the Räikkönen era especially it was so blatantly evident that his lengthy, positive, team-affirming statements quoted on the site were the work of a PR employee writing what they wanted him to say. What I wonder with this Alonso u-turn is if he would have been as surprised reading it as we were.
Many have suggested that in Mosley’s day, a driver making allegations against FIA, as Alonso did last weekend, would have been in trouble. With Max, he would have made a public issue of it, and required public humiliation of the perpetrator. The sulky Spaniard is not a man to back down and Ferrari are officially furious. A statement on the Ferrari web-site called it a “scandal”, accompanied by strong public criticism on the subject from both Luca di Montezemolo and Stefano Domenicali. The only reason I can see for this placatory piece is because Jean Todt intervened requiring a public withdrawal of Alonso’s accusation that FIA rigged the result, with the FIA boss, unlike his predecessor, preferring to deal with it behind the scenes. Thus the Ferrari PR people wrote what was required on Alonso’s behalf. The following is a paragraph towards the end of “Alonso’s” statement. Decide for yourself if it sounds like Fernando dictated it, or is more likely something written by the PR department to assuage FIA.
“One of the most important aspects of everything that happened on Sunday is the fact that Mark Webber emerged almost completely unhurt from an accident that was as spectacular as it was frightening. It proves once again that the work led by the FIA in terms of safety is absolutely vital and it is clear that one should never get complacent about this element of the sport.”
Flavio Briatori was also critical on the same issue saying Hamilton should have been black-flagged – keeping the high moral ground as ever!